Jets can’t stand success
Take 1-0 lead then abandon game plan
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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 20/10/2014 (2856 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The reason is anyone’s guess, but the Winnipeg Jets just didn’t believe they were doing things right in the first period Sunday night.
It’s one possible explanation for why the team abandoned what had put it off to a good start and a 1-0 lead over the Calgary Flames through 20 minutes.
The difference in confidence was on display after the intermission as the Flames prevailed over the Jets the rest of the way. The visitors bagged four unanswered goals in the second and third to skate off with a 4-1 victory over the Jets at the MTS Centre before 15,016 fans.
“We came out with a good start, were doing some things really well,” said Jets defenceman Mark Stuart. “And then in the second we got away from those things and you saw how they took over the game.
“We weren’t quite as tight. It doesn’t take much in this league for a game to turn around like that. We’re going to take a look at it, go back to work tomorrow and work on turning this thing around.”
Sunday’s result was the Jets’ fourth straight loss, a span in which they’ve scored just two goals.
Now 1-4 on the season and 0-2 to begin their five-game homestand, the Jets have not given their faithful much to get excited about.
“It’s reflective of the kind of hockey we’ve played,” said head coach Paul Maurice. “The record’s accurate.”
The struggling offence might just be a by product of the Jets’ execution, not the problem itself.
Whatever the root of the problem, the eight-goals-in-five-games offence is the team’s worst in the first five games of a season since the 2011 relocation.
The previous low-water mark was 10 goals in five games in the opening season, 2011-12.
Calgary, completing a six-game road trip after its losing home opener, went 4-2 away from the Scotiabank Saddledome. The Flames go home with a winning record for a five-game trip.
Dennis Wideman, Johnny Gaudreau, Mason Raymond and T.J. Brodie clicked for the Calgary markers.
Gaudreau’s goal with 15 seconds left in a Winnipeg penalty was the first power-play goal allowed by the Jets this season.
By that much
Maybe the game was already going the wrong way. But a key moment that put some grease on the precarious perch was a play that was just a little bit too eager.
Attempting a change midway through a 1-1 game, Stuart was going off and defenceman Adam Pardy was coming on.
The only trouble was, Pardy came on and played the puck before Stuart stepped — or tried to dive — off the ice.
It was textbook too-many-men and on the ensuing penalty-kill, which was going along just fine, the Flames clicked late in the advantage for a 2-1 lead, one they never relinquished.
It’s difficult to explain why the Jets have looked more lost in their two home games this week against less-regarded opponents than they did during last week’s road trip, dropping games to elite teams in San Jose in Los Angeles.
Granted, both defeats on the West Coast saw Winnipeg playing from behind early, which can change style both ways.
But against Nashville and Calgary, the Jets seemed like less of a team.
“There’s pieces of our game,” said Maurice. “The first period (Sunday) of our game’s about as good as we’re going to look. And then it’s that constant battle to have the confidence to keep doing, stay doing what you’re doing, not change what you’re doing.
“Even that second period, you’ve got to find that confidence to stay up, stay aggressive in that period. And we’re having a hard time with that right now.”
Updated on Monday, October 20, 2014 6:49 AM CDT: Replaces photo